Portion control is a key player when it comes to a balanced diet, but it can be hard to stop when your cravings are telling you to reach for seconds — or thirds. When you first begin to realize that you're full, use these tricks to tell your mind that the meal is over.
- Pick peppermint: A piece of hard candy, a mint, a mug of tea, or even mouthwash — after eating, go for anything peppermint-flavored to flood your senses and keep your instincts in check. As a natural appetite suppressant, peppermint will help you control your cravings and avoid postmeal munchies.
- Get up and move: The best way to let your body know that it's time to stop eating? Switch locations. It's hard to keep eating if you're no longer near the food! Move from the kitchen to the living room, and busy yourself with other tasks. Even better, consider going on a walk once mealtime is over.
- Have a small taste of something sweet: Sometimes, just a spoonful of something sweet can curb the urge to keep eating while also signifying the end of a meal. Instead of reaching for a giant slice of cake, choose a healthy, water-based food that will help you feel full. Try a handful of berries, a serving of watermelon, or a spoonful of pomegranate seeds — the tart seeds pack a major antioxidant punch, plus they're high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.
- Make postmeal plans: If you have something to do after a meal, you'll find it easy to steer clear of unnecessary seconds and quit eating once you're satisfied. It doesn't need to be a major to-do, either — simply planning to call a friend or pack tomorrow's gym bag will help you stay focused and stop snacking.